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Point Loma and Fort Rosecrans, San Diego

If you have read any of my previous blog posts then you will know that I am particularly partial to the West Coast of America, particularly San Diego and the surrounds.

So I wanted to share some pictures of Point Loma and Fort Rosecrans; the military base in San Diego. I went there this year on a warm and windy day, and visited the thousands of war graves of the men who died to protect America’s liberty. I learned about how the men would have been watching from lookouts in the rugged cliffs to spot for Japanese ships after Pearl Harbor, and I wandered up and down the weathered shoreline of the area.

It was beautiful.

My sister and I  spent a while climbing in the rock pools and fishing in the shallow dips of rock to see what we could find. She is particularly animal minded so was far more patient than me as she watched the crabs and the little fish, and I moved away and found a smooth rock to sit on and watch the shore. It’s where I am my happiest and most relaxed.

I love listening to the water lapping against the stone; slowly eroding it to new shapes and sizes like a person making something out of clay. The wind blew and I thought over what I had learned and cast my mind back to how it must have been for the soldiers who once lived there. nice for a visit, but pretty bleak for life.

If you are ever in the are, take the trip to Point Loma. The bay curves round and you can see Tijuana across the water. The area is calming and still, and a great visit.

Courchevel

Courchevel is one of the most popular skiing resorts in the French alps, loved by the rich and famous and skiers and snowboarders all over the world. It’s part of Les Trois Vallees which is that largest linked ski area in the world, and it’s a really pretty region.

I’m not a massive skier but went as I didn’t want to miss out on the action, and I had previously snowboarded a little in Canada. I went with three other friends who love the powder, determined to try and love it a little, although secretly wishing we were embarking on a hot and humid holiday.

I spent the first couple of days pretty much 90% face down in snow, and the rest of the time enjoying the warm toddies in the little cafes. On the last two days I decided not to ski but to stay in the chateau and have a massage, read my book and relax out of the cold.

Skiing isn’t for me, but the region is simply beautiful and the après ski is to die for!

it can be pretty dangerous though so make sure that you take out Travel Insurance, and make sure that it covers you for winter sports!

South Africa Safari

For the last week or so my posts have been a bit thin on the ground, and where I have posted, they have been scheduled. Why? Because I have been taking my summer holiday. IN AFRICA!!

If you have read the bucket list you will have seen that one of the things I have always wanted to do is to go on a safari, and I finally got the chance. So two weeks ago I got on a plane bound for the plains of Africa, ready to get my fill of wildlife. It was fantastic.

The Cape of Good Hope was where we started as I wanted to visit the fabled place where the Flying Dutchman is said to sail. If you don’t know the story, then legend has it that a ghost ship of condemned sailors sails around the cape, doomed for eternity to patrol the waters. Some sailors even say that they have seen the ghost ship, particularly in misty conditions. Sounds to me that they could just be seeing mist with overactive imaginations, but who am I to judge!

From the Cape of Good Hope we moved to the Kruger National Park, which is one of the most famous safari regions in the country. I was hoping to see all of the big five, and I wasn’t disappointed. The park was once used for hunters who made a living off the animals in the park, but it is now a place where endangered species can live protected from the poachers. It has a hot and humid feel, and the animals gathered at the watering holes, giving us a great chance to see them in their natural habitats.

The phrase ‘Big Five’ was coined by hunters as the hardest animals to hunt on foot. They are the lion, the African elephant, the cape buffalo, the leopard and the rhinoceros.

And I was lucky enough to see all but the lion. It was a shame, but the majesty of the elephants and the breathtaking presence of the leopard more than made up for it. Nights were spent in a luxury tent in the Game park, protected by our guides.

On the eve of our last day we were awoken to a bit of commotion outside the camp. We could hear our guides talking in hushed voices and wondered what the problem was. When we rose for breakfast the next day we were told that a rhino had meandered a bit close to the camp for their liking and they were trying to scare it away. I was so disappointed that I hadn’t got up!

We also went to the Ostrich farm, which was great fun. I love to see the ostriches, they are funny birds and look like they have a great personality!

Sadly I wasnt feeling well on the day that my group did white water rafting and couldn’t take part, as this is something I think I would have really enjoyed!

Dorset

My blog has focussed a lot recently on the fantastic places that I have visited outside of the UK, but I thought that today I would talk a little about the country that I live in, England. You would be right in thinking that when the weather is dismal the country is grey and dreary, but when the sun is shining there is not a prettier place in the world.

And I think that Dorset is the icing on the cake.

In the summer months, Dorset is a great destination for a weekend away of a trip to the coast, and it offers you plenty of spectacular views of the coast.

The Jurassic coastline is the first World Heritage Site that The UK has to offer, which spans through Dorset and East Devon. The landscape is rugged and its no surprise that it has joined the heady heights of the Great Barrier Reef and Grand Canyon, we have wonders of the world in England too! If you come to the area then you can hunt for fossils on the beach and visit the Dorset County Museum for a chance to see ones that someone else dug up. Keeps the dirt out from under your nails!!

The winner for most people along the coast is Durdle Door, which is one of the most iconic features in the region. It’s an arch in the rocks and it is said to be the most photographed rock formation along the coastline (according to my Dad). Each year there are over two hundred thousand people who walk along this stretch of the coast line, and it is truly beautiful. Due to the pressure of the spray from the waves, eventually the arch will disappear and it will just stand as a stack of rock in the water.


If you came across Dorset on a sunny day you would be mistaken for thinking that you were in Europe; we too have white sandy beaches and crystal waters! (although swimming in them is not for the faint hearted, be warned!) The best beach in the region has to be Sandbanks, where the rich and fancy free live.

The closest town to the beach is Poole, but the area is often nicknamed Britain’s Palm Beach by writers and journalists. The are has the fourth highest land value in the world, don’t you know!

 

 

Cruising Around Norway

I have always had a passion for travel, since the first holiday abroad that I remember; two weeks with my family in Italy. I remember thinking how majestic Venice was and how when I was a grownup I would like to travel to work by gondola.

So in 2004 when I passed my A levels, my mum offered to take me on a cruise. “Oh God!” I thought “a cruise is full of old people!” but I obviously sucked it up as she seemed so excited.

And it was absolutely magical. The cruise that we took was around Norway and I would strongly recommend it to anyone who doesn’t like flying (a firm plus in my mum’s positive tick sheet) and who loves to see areas of natural beauty from a different perspective.

The cruise left from Southampton and headed straight to the Norwegian town of Bergen.  We took a funicular (like a cable car) up the mountains to see all of Bergen and get out first glimpse of the ffjords, and then reboarded the ferry for our journey.

I was obviously panicking the entire time as I hate heights, but I coped and by holding firmly onto the edge of the car I saw some beautiful snowy mountains and chocolate box houses.

We then visited the Royal City of Trondheim and saw their attraction, The Old Town Bridge, which was once the only way in and out of the town centre, when the city was the hub of Norwegian trading.

Over the next few days we sailed through the arctic circle and down the Raftsund strait, stopping on Harstad (the largest of the Norwegian islands) and seeing where explorers had been before us.

We sat and had coffee in the university town of Tromso; soaking up the atmosphere and watching people go about their daily lives before we boarded the ship again, ready for an excursion where we got to go kayaking in a ffjord.

I thought that sort of stuff only happened in the films! With hindsight, I don’t think my Travel Insurance covered this, and with the recent news of a teenager dying after a polar bear attack in the country, I realise we were luckier than we thought. We didn’t see polar bears, but saw a whole host of other wildlife on our sail.

On the return part of the journey we visited Seven Sisters (not the borough in London!) where folklore tells that the arrow from Hestmannen’s bow formed the hole in the mountain, and you can see the prettiest landscapes in the area.

On the return part of the journey we visited Seven Sisters (not the borough in London!) where folklore tells that the arrow from Hestmannen’s bow formed the hole in the mountain, and you can see the prettiest landscapes in the area.

If you really are scared of flying then a cruise is a great way to see the world, and give you a really interesting perspective. Its also great value for money as you get to see a lot of different towns and sights with your accomodation and travel paid for.

I Want To Be A Part of It…. New York New York!

Slightly different post today.

I have a trip to New York to book in the next couple of months, and I really need your advice as to where is good  to go.

I want to know where I should be heading straight for, where the eclectic little eateries are and what landmarks are totally overrated. I’m only going to be there for a week, so I would love to know where to avoid, where to head to and what to do to fill my exciting few days!

Of course when I come home I will give you the full low down on how I found the city.

Help me out people!!

Word of the Day…. PARADISE

 

Gorgeous examples of the places I am heading off to this weekend….

In reality, gorgeous examples of the places I will be heading off to in my dreams this weekend, when the reality of the matter is that I will probably make it as far as the gym and the supermarket!

Where is paradise for you?

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